Orson Scott Card Wiki

Speaker for the Dead

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Publisher: Tor Science Fiction and Fantasy
Published: 1986-02-01

Story Summary Edit

Three thousand planet-bound years have fled since Ender Wiggin won humanity's war with the Buggers by completely destroying them. Ender remains young - traveling the stars at relativistic speeds, decades pass by on Earth while he experiences a month-long voyage. In three thousand years, his books The Hive Queen and The Hegemon have been written, and the name of Ender anathema; he is the Xenocide, the one who killed an entire race of thinking, feeling beings, the only other sentient race humankind had found in all the galaxy. The only ones, that is, until the planet called Lusitania was discovered and colonized.

On Lusitania humans found another race of raman ... a young race, beings just beginning to lift their eyes to the stars and wonder what might be out there. The discovery was seen as a gift to humanity, a chance to redeem the destruction of the Buggers. And so the Pequininos, as they were named by the Portuguese-speaking settlers, also called the "Piggies," or the "Little Ones" were placed off-limits to the colony. The only humans allowed to meet them and speak with them are trained xenobiologists, and then only two at a time. This time, there will be no tragic misunderstandings leading to war. This time...

This time, again, men die bizarrely killed by the Piggies. Andrew Wiggin is called to Lusitania to Speak the deaths of the two xenobiologists, and walks into a maelstrom of fear and hatred. To Speak for these dead, he must first unravel the web of secrets surrounding the lives of the Piggies and those who study them. He must Speak not only for the dead, but for a living alien race.

Praise Edit

"SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD is a tale of guilt and tragedy driven by fear of the alien, by lack of empathy...Less brash than Ender's Game, SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD may be a much better book. Don't miss it!" - Analog

"Told with compassion and keen insight, this powerful sequel to Ender's Game is highly recommended." - Library Journal

"The most powerful work Card has produced. SPEAKER not only completes Ender's Game, it transcends it." - Fantasy Review

"There aren't too many recent sf novels we can confidently call truly moral works, but SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD is one. Full of careful characterization, intriguing scientific, especially anthropological, speculation, and a fictional challenge to our capacity to define humanity inclusively rather than exclusively, it's a completely gripping story." - The Toronto Star

"The book is complex, both in historical perspective and story line, The intricate relationships between the main characters are an integral part of the tale. Card draws us into their lives, giving us insight into their thoughts and feelings and getting us involved in the twists and turns of this very intimate story." - United Press International

Story DetailsEdit

The bulk of this story takes place on the colony of Lusitania . This story follows over quite a few different characters at times. Ender, who is summoned to the planet to speak the death of a xenologer, has an ulterior motive. He wants to speak directly to the piggies which is forbidden by the Starways Congress . He also wants to establish the Hive Queen on Lusitania so he can redeem himself for the Xenocide 3000 years ago.

Awards Edit

Nebula Award - Best Novel, 1986
Hugo Award - Best Novel, 1987
Locus Award - Best Novel, 1987

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